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Transcript of becoming a candidate video

[video: six people sit around tables in a panel discussion]

Tamsyn Matchett: So in terms of the process for becoming a candidate, Dale, you might be able to shed some light on this. How does someone get nominated and confirmed as a candidate?

Dale Ofsoske: Okay, so firstly, to be a candidate you must be a New Zealand citizen, and you must be enrolled on the parliamentary electoral role anywhere in New Zealand.

You can actually stand for multiple positions. You can stand for the mayor and for the council, and for a local board. If you get fortunate enough to get elected to more than one, you take the highest position. You can actually stand for more than one local board but you must provide a priority ranking, and if you're elected, that's the number one ranking, that's where you get elected to.

You can also stand for one District Health Board, plus any Auckland Council positions. And you can also stand for a licensing trust in addition to the Auckland Council positions.

There are some candidate restrictions, however. You can only stand for one ward. And you can only stand for one local board subdivision if your local board is subdivided. And you can only stand for one District Health Board within New Zealand. If you wanted to stand for a licensing trust, there is a restriction there, you must actually reside in the licensing trust area, or if the licensing trust is subdivided then within that ward of that licensing trust.

So what happens, you want to stand as a candidate, so nominations open very soon. Friday week, actually, the 19th of July. So they open then and they close on the 16th of August. That's one week, one month. Please, don't leave lodging your nomination to the last minute. If there is a problem and you leave lodging it to the last minute, and there's a problem, there's very little time to get it fixed.

So they must be received by 12 noon on Friday, the 16th of August. There are no exceptions to that. Unfortunately, at 12 o'clock, the door's closed and that's the close of nominations.

So what do you need? You need an official nomination paper. They will be available online. So you can download a nomination paper from voteauckland.co.nz. You can give my office a call and we can post one out to you, or you can collect one from any of the nine council service centres.

But we do encourage you to download your nomination from the council website. It's now editable, so you can now type your information in, so it's nice and clear for us to read, and then you just print it out, sign it and submit it in hard copy.

You must be nominated by two electors from the area that you're standing in. So if you're standing in for Albany Ward, for example, then you must be nominated by two electors from within Albany Ward. With your nomination papers, so you have an official nomination paper, you will also need to supply a number of other things and they must all be supplied together.

That's a nomination deposit of $200. That's for each position you're standing for so $200 for each position. You can supply a candidate profile statement that is optional under the legislation, but we do strongly suggest to every candidate submit a candidate profile statement. That's a 150 word statement, basically about what you intend to do if you get elected and a little bit about yourself so that the electors who are voting will know a little bit about you there.

A recent colour photograph, that needs to be supplied. If you'd like that in there, we strongly encourage you to supply that as well, that goes with your 150 word statement. And that gets posted out to all the electors. So they basically read about you and see who you are.

We also require evidence of New Zealand citizenship, because as I said earlier, you do need to be a New Zealand citizen to stand for office, so we do need evidence of that. And if you're standing for the District Health Board, we do need evidence of a conflict of interest statement.

Tamsyn Matchett: Marguerite, would you like to add on to that?

Marguerite Delbet: Yes, I would like to do a one minute advertising for Auckland Council election website, because when the nominations close, we will have all the candidate profiles on the website. And there will also be an opportunity for candidates to put more information there so that voters actually better informed and can make a more informed choice. So we're very excited to be able to offer that.

Tamsyn Matchett: Excellent, and you can download the candidate information handbook from that website, can't you?

Marguerite Delbet: Yes, so all the information that will be in the handbook will be on the website as well.

Tamsyn Matchett: Excellent. And Dale, we have a question here for you. "The $200 nomination deposit, is this for each of the two required nominations, or $200 total?"

Dale Ofsoske: No, it's for each position you stand for. So if you stand for two positions it's $400, $200 each, yes.

Tamsyn Matchett: Okay, excellent. So I assume once you've been confirmed as a candidate, the next step would be to start campaigning. Do we have any legal requirements in terms of campaigning?

Dale Ofsoske: Absolutely we do.

Tamsyn Matchett: Okay.

Dale Ofsoske: And things you need to be aware of, really, is that you can campaign any time, so you can be campaigning now. You can actually campaign on Election Day, which is slightly different to parliamentary elections.

If you are doing any promotion, any election advertising at all, you do need to show an authorization statement. That's your name and your physical address. So that is a legal requirement.

What we strongly suggest now is to use social media for your campaigning. It really is a great way to campaign. It's instant, it's free. It is far-reaching. You can use it many ways, you can promote yourself, your policies, you can post messages, you can put key dates on, you can run polls, you can do videos, all sorts of things on that, and it's pretty much free, so it's a really good way of campaigning.

One of the legal things that you do need to be mindful of is the Auckland Transport election signs bylaws. So you just need to be mindful of the bylaws of where and when you can place election signs. There's a voluntary nine-week period for residential sites and approved road reserves. But on approved sites on parks that has a mandatory nine-week period for all local board areas, except Ōrākei, which is a four-week period prior to Election Day. All those lists are contained on the voteauckland.co.nz website and in the candidate information booklet.

Now, the second thing that you should be aware of as a candidate is that all candidates have an election expenditure limit, and this depends on the area that you're standing in and it is based on population. So, for the mayoral position, for example, there is a maximum limit that a mayoral candidate can spend of about 640,000, and all the limits do include GST, so don't get tripped up and think that it's plus GST.

There is a required, a statutory form that you must complete, each candidate must complete, after the election, and that is required as a public document for seven years. So just be mindful that that is a requirement.

Tamsyn Matchett: Excellent, thanks Dale. And to the two panellists who have actually campaigned, what does this look like? Can you talk us through what was effective for you? What was, perhaps, not so effective for you and what should candidates be thinking about now, Michael?

Michael Goudie: Yeah, yeah cool, I think I'll kick this off. I guess it's important, I don't think you should let the money side of it, either, stop you from running. And I give the example that the last campaign that I ran, I essentially did it for free, I didn't get any donations, and 90 per cent of it would have been on social media.

So yeah, I don't think that that should stop, I think everyone over-complicates it. And, you know, I take on Dale's points that yeah, there's some legalities around it, but essentially, there's no rules to campaigning. You can be as creative or as free as you want to engage your community and I think a lot of people find comfort and just slipping into doing what everybody else does. And I really, like, I discourage that. I think you can be experimental with this.

My campaign experience will be different to everybody else's. I think it's really important, you kind of do your own SWOT analysis of what you will be good at, what you wouldn't be good at, and clearly you're wired in a different way, as we probably are, that you want to run.

So I think it's really important to be strategic to engage your own communities. Don't try to play at a level or engage with communities you don't think are going to be combative or exclusive or yeah. And I think if you stick to your values, your morals and your objectives, I think you should, you'll find that you can make a bit of a game out of it. Have fun with it.

And I made the other point that I was very comfortable that if my community didn't elect me, it's because I wasn't the right person for them. As long as I was stuck to, you know, what I was about, you know, and that actually made campaigning a bit more fun and I could be a bit more edgy and just be more myself.

Because you might want to stand on a singular issue, a range, you know, a laundry list of various things, a laundry list of things you want to change. Or actually, you just might think you're a better representative of your community. So be very clear on what you want to do through the campaign and stick to it.

Tamsyn Matchett: And what about you, Simon?

Simon Randall: So I was a candidate four times and successful three. And I guess the, each of those were really different campaigns, and but the core thing that I'd say is it's the personal connections that you make, it's the way that you engage with people that is the most important bit of campaigns.

I totally agree with Michael that you can spend a lot of money and not actually gain a lot in terms of the sort of campaign that you run. You want to engage with as many people as possible, be it door-knocking, through social media, all those sorts of things, and you want to give people an opportunity to understand what you stand for and who you are. That's probably the most important thing.

Also, when you're going to where people are, you're campaigning with them, you're knocking on their door, you're going to their sports club, all those sorts of things, those are really important connections that serve you well.

I guess, the final thing that I would suggest in terms of campaigning, know what you're standing for. There are good opportunities now to go to local board meetings, to go to governing body meetings to see what it's like to talk to elected members. Your community wants to know that you're gonna hit the ground running and I'd strongly suggest that, people can usually tell whether or not you know what job you're going for during your campaign, so know.

Tamsyn Matchett: That whole campaign process sounds, well, I'm sure very fulfilling, quite exhausting. How did you two manage to look after yourselves during what, I imagine, is quite a hectic time in your life? Simon, you might wanna speak to this one.

Simon Randall: I guess, the thing now is before nominations while things are relatively calm, come up with a plan, figure out what you are going to do during the campaign, what your commitments are, and stick to it.

It can sometimes feel, in the middle of a campaign, that you have to change everything, that everything needs to be mixed up, that you need to be responsive, but actually, that tends to just have impact symptoms of your health and your personal relationships.

I'd strongly suggest that you make time for yourself and for your family and those people who are important. Block that time out, that's just as important for you as it as for those people you care about.

Have a plan to eat well. There is a thing that some, quite common in candidates that you will gain weight because you eat terribly when you're running between meetings and those sorts of things, so have a plan for those sorts of things.

I would, even though I agree with Michael and Dale that social media is really good, have a plan for how you're going to manage your exposure to social media. It can be quite a negative space and it can have impacts on the way you feel about yourself.

Part of that could be about organising your support base and being very clear about who's set up to look after you. I had people when I was spinning out that would take me for a walk, have a nice conversation, grab a cup of coffee. All those things are really, really important.

And I guess the final thing that I would say is have a plan locked in advance for what you're going to do on Election Day and the two weeks after. If you win or lose, it's still going to be a stressful, hectic time, and having a plan that everyone knows that you've you've got locked into place for you to, kind of, deal with that is really important.

Tamsyn Matchett: Excellent, Michael, have you got any tips?

Michael Goudie: Yeah I just, I'll reiterate a bit of that. I mean, planning is key to it. So being really clear on your objectives, is it getting out a bunch of new voters that don't normally vote, or tapping into different groups within your community, and focus on those, and I mean, there's a lot of hours in the day.

Yeah, but eating right, fatigue management. But actually that, probably the mental side of it is the hardest. And you're putting yourself out there, like you're putting your head above the parapet and you need to, you need to be realistic about that that is going to bring, you know, you've got, it's gonna bring opinions and trolls, and people who love what you're saying, and like the entire mix, right?

So I mean, it's hard like as a board of directors or a governance. You have 90,000 bosses out there. So you really do need to prepare yourself for that. And I think making sure you keep going to the local on a Friday.

You know, whether it's your mentors or your sounding boards or it is being realistic about that and start, you will start to have to gear yourself to be more open to that, water off a duck's back and all those types of cliches.

But yeah, you do need to really watch that, and it's terrible for the partners, I think, of people who campaign. I think we're, again, we're wired probably a bit differently to kind of cope for that. Partners are not and so, yeah, if anything, you might, you know, I think that, your families, your groups, your cliques, they're the best way to kind of manage all that.

Tamsyn Matchett: Excellent.

Michael Goudie: Yeah.

Tamsyn Matchett: Great advice. We have a question and it's actually very timely because I believe Marguerite's just about to cover this, but I will read it out. So will Vote Auckland be holding public candidate meetings for councillor and mayoral candidates, Marguerite?

Marguerite Delbet: Okay, so what we call Meet the Candidates Events. So the media, Residents Association, community groups and some of the schools that will be engaged in our Youth Voting programmes will organise candidates' nights.

And there can be other Meet the Candidates for the community to see who is standing in the area, or actually candidate debates. And we really encourage you to take part to those because there really will be an opportunity for your community to meet you face to face and really hear firsthand what you stand for and what you're campaigning on.

Auckland Council will not be organising any of these candidate evenings directly. We will be supporting the schools again that are organising those through our Youth Voting programme, but we will be advertising them on our website, voteauckland.co.nz. So go on the website when we get to that point so that you've got an opportunity to participate.

We also have some tips for organisers of candidate evenings that we've developed that are available, and you can email us to ask for that. What I would encourage you to do as a candidate, if you're going to take part to this candidate evenings, is to have a look at our pre-election report. It's gonna be published at the end of July. And it basically outlines the key challenges facing Auckland, and it'd be full of really useful information and interesting statistics and facts that will enable you to really prepare for these candidate evenings, and be really informed about the real facts and campaign on real fact-based issues.

Tamsyn Matchett: Great. So I have some more questions and these are actually all, I believe, for Dale. So I might read, there's four here. So perhaps we'll do one at a time. "If I have forgotten to add my authorization statement on flyers that haven't been delivered, can I stamp it on the back of the flyer, or does it have to be on the front slash main part of my flyer?"

Dale Ofsoske: No, it can be on the flyer anywhere, but it must appear on it. So if you've already printed them without the authorization, you have to bin them and get them printed with the correct authorization.

Tamsyn Matchett: Okay.

Dale Ofsoske: Or stamp them or stick it on -

Tamsyn Matchett: Or stamp them, but that must appear.

Tamsyn Matchett: Right, okay. And signage, so confirming, if I want to put a billboard on a private property, it can go up anytime?

Dale Ofsoske: That is correct. We're encouraging a voluntary nine-week period, but technically, yes.

Tamsyn Matchett: Technically, okay. And please give a range of limits for investment, I think, in terms of the campaign for local board members and councillors and the mayor. Expenditure limit, do you mean?

Dale Ofsoske: Yes. Yeah, so I mentioned the mayoral one which was 650,000 I think it was, but they are all contained in the candidate information book, each individual, local board and ward is contained in there of what you can spend, yes.